After rumblings from the man himself that he was at work restoring much of his incredible filmography, Frederick Wiseman and Zipporah Films have confirmed today that the five-year process of restoration and digitizing 33 of his features has been completed and will start coming to theaters this year. See the press release below.

Zipporah Films is pleased to announce that, for the first time, all Frederick Wiseman films are now available in digital formats. The process, which took nearly five years, involved the restoration and digitization of 33 Wiseman films from 1969 through 2006 that have not previously been available, except in film. Now 45 Wiseman films are available in digital formats, removing barriers so that these films can reach a wider audience, as many were only available in 16mm prior to the restoration. 

I am enormously grateful to the individuals and organizations whose support made possible the digitizing and restoration of my films, which will now provide new access to the films.  ~ Frederick Wiseman

This project involved the Library of Congress delivering the original 16mm negatives for 32 films and one 35mm negative for the narrative THE LAST LETTER along with the Harvard Film Archive sending the sound elements to DuArt Laboratory and then to Goldcrest Post Production, after the historic DuArt closed.  The negatives were scanned, conformed, color graded and then matched with the original sound to create the 4K restored digital versions. Colorist, Jane Tolmachyov, who has worked with Wiseman for decades, handled all the grading, while Wiseman personally reviewed and approved all 33 films.

Beginning in the fall of 2024, the Wiseman films will be exhibited in retrospectives starting at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the American Cinematheque in Los Angeles and at Film at Lincoln Center in New York, in addition to many other exhibitions around the world. Also, the restored 4K version of LAW AND ORDER will premiere at Cannes Classics this month. The films are available for additional programming worldwide at Zipporah Films. 

“They’re really artists in any sense or meaning of the word art,” Wiseman told us last year, speaking to the subjects of Menus-Plaisirs Les Troisgros. “Not only are they concerned with the creation of the dish, but also the way it looks on the plate. As you saw in the film, every plate is inspected, usually by one of them, before it gets taken out to the dining room. If a raspberry or a kidney is an eighth of a millimeter out of place, they take a tweezer and put it in the right place. They’re concerned as much with the color and shape and form of the presentation on the plate as they are with the taste of the food. 

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